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Android HP Handhelds Hardware Hacking Operating Systems Portables Build

Android On HP TouchPad 280

Posted by timothy
from the wish-I'd-been-quicker-on-the-draw dept.
NicknamesAreStupid writes "As fast as you can say '$99 blowout sale,' PC World reports on an Android port to the now defunct HP TouchPad. 'Of course, it will turn out to be the best Android pad ever, making the iPad stink by comparison,' reports Muphy's Law Reports."
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Android On HP TouchPad

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  • "No ecosystem" (Score:5, Insightful)

    by EponymousCustard (1442693) on Tuesday August 23, 2011 @05:38AM (#37175970)
    HP have inadvertently discovered how to create huge demand and massive customer base overnight: find the right price point and lots of publicity
    • by Anonymous Coward

      So the right price point is over $200 below bill of materials? The 16GB TouchPad has a bill of materials estimated at $323. People are rushing to buy this due to perceived value. There are Android based tablets that retail for $75-200 right now, but no one wants to buy them. They're lower quality specs, screens, and builds. This is a rush to buy something that's supposed to be really expensive at an insanely low price.

      • Re:"No ecosystem" (Score:4, Insightful)

        by jawtheshark (198669) * <.moc.krahsehtwaj. .ta. .todhsals.> on Tuesday August 23, 2011 @06:07AM (#37176100) Homepage Journal

        I know you are right, but the problem is as following:

        • You either have to be significantly cheaper than the iPad to compete on similar capabilities. When I mean "cheaper", I don't mean $50 cheaper, I mean really much cheaper. If it's only 50€ difference, get an iPad, then you get something "known to work". This is the "perceived" value, you talk about. Capabilities includes quality hardware, so the cheaper ones you talk about are not competition.
        • Offer something that that the iPad doesn't have and beat it on capabilities while matching the iPads price. That is very hard as the iPad has so much going for it: large installed base, great "walled garden" app store (Which is a "pro" for most people, I assure you) , quality hardware. You simply know what you get... It cannot something that only few people care about, as that will not give you a great install base.

        The iPad has become the "Windows of Tablets". The two arguments above are exactly why Windows still rules on the desktop.

        • Re:"No ecosystem" (Score:5, Interesting)

          by Lumpy (12016) on Tuesday August 23, 2011 @06:22AM (#37176154) Homepage

          And being a guy who paid ipad prices for a real android tablet with the horsepower to run the apps smoothly, I still bought an iPad.

          Why?

          it's the apps man.

          I can't get an app that will show me where the satellites are in the sky in a Augmented reality like I can on the iPad.
          I can't get an integration app for Microsoft One Note on android.
          I can't get a PDF annotation app that is as smooth and simple as the one for the iPad.
          Only recently was I able to get an autocad viewer for android. but not an andriod honeycomb native, it's a phone app that scales.
          And on and on.

          Android falls on it's face with tablet specific apps simply because it has been around a short time compared to the iPad. Maybe in 2 years when the application base builds up I'll look at what android tablets are doing once more, but then I'll have to abandon all the software I bought for the iPad and re-buy all my software again.

          the XOOM tablet is a nice piece of hardware and snappy... but it failed on the app front. I was lucky enough to have bought it early and chose to sell it early to get most of my money back on ebay.

          I use a tablet for work. both my day job and my side photography business... and the iPad kicks android hard in the photography apps arena.

          • by Tapewolf (1639955)

            I use a tablet for work. both my day job and my side photography business... and the iPad kicks android hard in the photography apps arena.

            Now I'm curious. How do you get the photos into it? AFAIK the iPad cannot read SD cards nor accept USB mass storage devices.

            Aside from the cost the reason I've always written off the iPad is because I need something that will allow me to upload photos from an external digital camera and edit text files on an external media. Has the situation changed there?

            • by jcr (53032)

              AFAIK the iPad cannot read SD cards nor accept USB mass storage devices.

              There's a dongle [apple.com] for that.

              -jcr

              • Re:"No ecosystem" (Score:4, Interesting)

                by E IS mC(Square) (721736) on Tuesday August 23, 2011 @09:10AM (#37177168) Journal

                Dongle?? But that would spoil the looks of such a beautiful toy!!

                Seriously though, after paying shitload of money, you still have to buy dongles and addons for basic functionalities?? Fuck that.

                • by IrquiM (471313)
                  That's how they make money.
                • by itsdapead (734413)

                  Seriously though, after paying shitload of money, you still have to buy dongles and addons for basic functionalities?? Fuck that.

                  So which of the competing tablets comes with a full size SD card port (which you need for cameras) and a full-sized USB port as standard? The Samsung is just as bad as the iPad in terms of needing extra dongles, the Asus Transformer only has these in the optional keyboard/dock, the Xoom has microUSB (OK if you're camera also has a standard socket so you can use a standard cable, but you'd need an adaptor for a USB stick or SD card). Some have microSD slots, but those are intended for semi-permanent memory e

                  • You realize that you could get a microSD card to use in any standard camera that accepts standard SD cards, right? All you need is a little adapter that could stay in the camera. When you want to transfer pictures to your android tablet (or phone) you simply take the microSD card out of the adapter and into your device at hand.

                • by Sockatume (732728)

                  As opposed to Android, where the hardware is built in but there's bugger-all software that you might want to use with your USB storage. It's kind of tragic really.

            • by Lumpy (12016)

              "the iPad cannot read SD cards nor accept USB mass storage devices."

              Yes it can. except that apple intentionally cripped reading from a USB hard drive or a thumb drive over 16gig in size.

              I also have it grab low res (720P) shots from the camera as I snap the photos by using a wifiSD card that has storage as well. Nothing like taking a set of photos at a session and grabbing the ipad to show the client/model instead of the 1" screen on the camera.

          • by cheekyboy (598084)

            Im still pissed off apple charges 5x retail price for the 16-32gig price difference.

            Common apple, for that price diff, offer people a 32gig vs 96gig setup and a 256gig VIP option for real cashed up geeks/celebs.

        • Re:"No ecosystem" (Score:4, Interesting)

          by metalmaster (1005171) on Tuesday August 23, 2011 @07:09AM (#37176318)
          You had me right up to this point

          The iPad has become the "Windows of Tablets". The two arguments above are exactly why Windows still rules on the desktop.

          Windows is an operating system. It can be installed on anything with the right components. Do you remember the "Vista Capable" fiasco? Just because a box has a CPU, RAM, a hard disk and a video card doesnt mean those components have to be specced high enough to run the software smoothly. Additionally, Windows doesnt rely on a walled garden of apps. Its the exact opposite. If you wanna install the latest application from www.iwannastealyourbankinfos.net you are entirely free to do so.

          The ipad took off for a few reasons:

          1. - It was the first trustworthy tablet to market
          2. - It had the familiar interface and functionality that people loved with their ipod touch and iphone
          3. - It's got the developers behind it. As much as I hate to say "$x - theres an app for that" is pretty damned accurate. If you want something its probably out there. If not, you may be able to find a competent developer to write an app for you.

          Im not a fan of Apple at all, but the above points are true for the most part. These are the reasons why i told my mom to return her touchpad and get an ipad.

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by squiggleslash (241428)

          I'm not sure either are that hard, and I think people are over-thinking the whole thing.

          Tablets are "selling" right now because... well, because they seem like they might be a nice idea, but in practice they don't really do a lot, and they're not that practical. Most people who get them don't really use them that often. And realistically, when they do, it's to browse the web.

          Given that, virtually every tablet selling for above $250 or so (which, generally, are tablets that include capacitive touchscree

          • Re:"No ecosystem" (Score:4, Informative)

            by Dog-Cow (21281) on Tuesday August 23, 2011 @07:36AM (#37176442)

            You really don't get it, do you? I am posting this from an iPad. I and my wife use our 'pads for browsing, email, gps navigation, reference books, games, note taking, calendar, and address book. Lack of Flash is a minor annoyance, but to claim people don't use their iPads sounds like the wishful thinking of a bigot. Why the iPad instead of a netbook? Convenience. Larger screen. A battery that lasts through a day Netflix (wife was on bed rest until last night due to pregancy). Windows on a small screen sucks and Linux is too painful for me as a desktop.

            • by BigDogCH (760290)
              We have rolled out almost every type of tablet as a test to our users. They have claimed that they were needed, and loved them at first. A after a few weeks, the vast majority of the users have said that they rarely use it anymore....and now are back to their laptop. The biggest reason....."the tablet really needs a keyboard attached to it". The only users still using their tablet tend to carry a wireless keyboard with it. Others even carry a docking station around too. At that point, why not just have
              • We have rolled out almost every type of tablet as a test to our users. They have claimed that they were needed, and loved them at first. A after a few weeks, the vast majority of the users have said that they rarely use it anymore....and now are back to their laptop. Maybe for sitting on the couch they work, but for productivity they seem to have been a flop around here.

                Right tool for the right job I suspect and I find the iPad extremely useful for work.

                Case in point: I had my laptop go out of commission for three weeks and still can't get it to connect to a non-work network (I hate Windows 7). I had an iPad and began using our over-the-air mail sync to augment. I found I could do over 90% of what I needed. My job includes reviewing many documents, tracking program deliverables, managing crisis's by email, and generating basic content for others. With iWorks, iBook (PD

              • by CastrTroy (595695)
                This has always been my opinion as well. The tablet is a good third device. Most people don't want to work all day long on a laptop, unless they hook it up to a full monitor/keyboard/mouse. And most people can't do everything they want to do with a tablet that they can do with a laptop. So most people who are happy with their tablets are the kind of people who own all 3. I do know a few people who are happy with just a tablet, but these people aren't heavy computer users, and are really just using it for
            • by jedidiah (1196)

              I get it. I am not posting this from an iPad. My wife that loves her iPad similarly would not post from it either.

              iPad is the new TV.

      • by CastrTroy (595695)
        I'm not sure where companies come up with these numbers. If you can sell a full netbook for $229 [bestbuy.ca], there's no reason that tablets should cost over $400. The only thing they have that's more expensive is the touch screen, but they are missing a lot of parts too. Flash memory is expensive, but it's not like they are using high end solid state drives in these things. And most of them only come with 16-32 GB, which isn't all that much. They should be able to sell these things pretty cheap. If you can get
      • The Nook Color is $250 (+ tax if applicable) and it's easy enough to install a different version of Android on it. No camera, but the screen is pretty nice.

    • by _KiTA_ (241027)

      True. Unfortunately, they're selling these at Around a $100-$200 loss [isuppli.com] on each model sold.

      Perhaps in 5 years the Touchpad could be profitable at $100-150. But not today.

      • by AmiMoJo (196126)

        Not in the UK, they are still £400+ here :-(

        Why do we always get ripped off?

        • Dabs were selling them for £105 earlier today, which is the cheapest I've seen them in the UK. Even taking VAT into account, it was nowhere near as cheap as the ~£60 that Best Buy were selling them for in the US. That said, they've sold out despite the higher price, so there would have been nothing gained by going any cheaper.

    • by Machtyn (759119)
      From HP's website:

      We have received unprecedented orders as a result of the tremendous discount offered. This is clear confirmation to HP there is huge interest in building a webOS community. We apologize for any difficulty you may have had in ordering on the web or through the phone this weekend; it was as a result of selling out of our current inventory.

      I'm not sure if that is confirmation of building the webOS community or people knowing that one cannot get such a capable tablet for less than $300 ... and they sold it for $99/$149! If they had sold it for $199/$249, I imagine it would still have been a fire sale and I know I still would have picked one up. (I missed it, though, because I suppose I'm not on the right mailing lists.)

      It sounds like HP *might* revisit the webOS, but I wonder how they will implement it in the future. I d

    • I wonder if that's why Apple is trying to physically get Samsung off the shelves in Europe. There doesn't seem to be much danger of competing Android tablets decimating iPad sales - its pretty clear now that they are not going to succeed unless they are (a) significantly cheaper than the iPad and/or (b) offer something obviously different (not just incrementally better specs such as a slightly faster processor or higher res camera which will be leapfrogged by Apple in a few months time).

      So why is Apple try

  • by HumanEmulator (1062440) on Tuesday August 23, 2011 @05:46AM (#37176014)

    The "summary" makes it sound like a port is available now, and then throws in an iPad comparison that's nowhere in the original article. From TFA:

    "Figure this will take a good long while. Keep your expectations very low and for now enjoy WebOS..."

    and my favorite...

    "Further complicating the initiative, some of the developers don't yet have TouchPads."

    So this is 3 guys planning a porting effort of an older version of Android. (Google hasn't released the source code to Honeycomb yet.) Also from TFA:

    "Still, people who bought it took a risk, since it's not clear if HP will continue to develop the operating system."

    Really, that's not clear? You think HP might be planning major OS updates for a tablet they just fire-saled?

    • I was thinking the same thing. How does this become front page "news", three guys are planning to port an old OS to a piece of hardware which has been discontinued. Who cares? I see that it's cheap, but so is almost anything else that has been discontinued.
    • by netsharc (195805) on Tuesday August 23, 2011 @08:47AM (#37176918)

      Indeed...

      Hey PCWorld, I'm planning on porting Android to the iPad, no I don't have an iPad yet, I have no time and I have no idea how to do it, but I have a wiki. Why don't you write an article about me?

      Well, it was fucking PCWorld. Should've expected that shit from them.

  • by MichaelSmith (789609) on Tuesday August 23, 2011 @06:05AM (#37176082) Homepage Journal

    My wife picked up our touchpad yesterday from Harvey Norman for 98 AUD. Its hard not to be happy at that price. I can see that most of the time we will use the web browser to it doesn't matter much what operating system we run.

    • My wife picked up our touchpad yesterday from Harvey Norman for 98 AUD. Its hard not to be happy at that price. I can see that most of the time we will use the web browser to it doesn't matter much what operating system we run.

      I too wish I could pick up a HP TouchPad for that price. But unfortunately the Finnish shops haven't realized the firesale and are still stubbornly selling them with the original price... :/

  • So we know now what companies have to do to beat the iPad: Build tablets and sell them for about $220 less than the cost of the parts. I wonder at which point Apple would start buying those tablets and taking them apart because that is cheaper than buying the parts. (I was told the Touchpad had the same screen as the original iPad, and what Apple pays for the screen is not far away from the $99 that the Touchpad sold for).
    • by Sockatume (732728)

      This'll sound monstrously stupid, but that's actually where Android partners could have a long-term advantage. As components get cheaper, eventually they'll be able to put out a "good enough" tablet (the current Touchpad spec, for example) for something like $150. If they can beat Apple to that market - and Apple's historically been slow to reach the mid- and low-end consumer - then they have a game on their hands. I figure they probably have a window of a year or two between when a $150 tablet is feasible

    • Well, with the huge advertosing budgets that some companies pour into their products, it just might be worth it to instead pour that money into huge discounts for consumers to get a large enough install base that you get customers via word of mouth alone. It's just crazy enough to work!

      • by Sockatume (732728)

        It works until you release version 2 of the product at twice the price in the hope that you'll start making money. Torch and pitchfork time.

  • Then HP should either consider to go back on its own footsteps or to sack the CEO.
    Better both.
    And, by the way, the iPad really stinks [google.com].

  • I don't suppose there are any retailers out there that still have them for $99, are there??

  • One retailer sold out, but Future Shop and Best Buy in Canada has raised the price back up to $399. I guess they thought this demand was something they could profit on.

    Nobody's buying end of life tech for full price. I'm going to wait until it drops back to $99.

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